Thursday, May 31, 2007


This morning my boss asked me to devise a chart based upon data from the US Dept of Labor, Commerce, etc to compliment an article I had written about small businesses in California. What I soon came to realize was that I am completely incompetent in this department, and came up with the following graphic explaining my incompetence...

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he had me create an index instead.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


From the May issue of Harper's Magazine:

"The promise of the Internet-as-Alexandria is more than the roiling plentitude of information. It's the ability of individuals to choreograph that information in idiosyncratic ways, the hope that individuals might feel invited by the gravitational pull of a broad and open commons to 'rip, mix, and burn'-to curate. This new sort of curator, in effect, is one definition of a blogger: an amateur experimental librarian for the Internet, the curator of (in blogger/writer Cory Doctorow's phrase) a digital 'Wunderkrammer', a private informational choreographer who has made her alignments public."
--Gideon Lewis-Kraus, "A World in Three Aisles"
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I'm not sure how I feel about "Republican" Ron Paul and his bid for the presidential nomination. I've watched quite a few of his rants on C-SPAN, and while I highly agree with the anti-war left who embrace his staunch position against America-as-global-policemen, I can't help but wonder if his motives are a bit more sinister than your average Democrat for pulling out of Iraq. I think he's a Libertarian in sheep's clothing, basically. And while he was never officially affiliated with the party, he won their nomination for President in 1988.

But if this is what the future of the Republican party looks like, a swing to the taxophobic social Darwinist perspective which covets the Constitution over the Old Testament, then I can't complain too much. Fortuately for the GOP, he falls into all five characterists of a "real conservative", according to the "Conservative Exodus Project" (CEP), which was born from a more recent CPAC meeting:

1) He must oppose the "third-world invasion of the United States and reject amnesty and any path to citizenship for illegals."
2) He must "oppose free trade, the support of which has become an ideological suicide pact."
3) He must be a "moral candidate, critical of secularism, who embodies the virtues of the Christian Western tradition."
4) He must oppose the "illegal neocon war in Iraq."
5) He must "wish to see big government reduced in size-in all three branches-and for many offices and functions to be returned to the states, where they Constitutionally belong."

Well actually, perhaps he's not such a Libertarian if he adheres to #2... and #3, well, I'm not sure his stance on that one--I do know he is strongly pro-life and pro-gun if that's any indication of his "Christian Western" traditional values.

For the record, he refused three of his children a federally-subsidized student loan, and insists of denying himself a congressional pension. That's all well and good for a wealthy medical practioner-cum-politician, but for the masses (myself included), federal aid and governmental intervention in social programs granting all Americans liberty and equality are quite constitutionally sound. Why the conservative, nay the Libertarian, logic doesn't follow this basic tenet is beyond me. And that's why I am afraid of "Republicans" like Paul.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


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Upon consulting the Senate Chamber Daily Digest on the Library of Congress' website, I discovered that there were sooo many critical measures passed yesterday!!!

While the comprehensive plan to overhaul immigration is in the works (for serious it totally is, any day now we'll have an awesome new policy for immigrants that everyone will love!), two new measures DID get passed, and now I can sleep at night.

I am so happy our elected officials have their decision hats on today, passing two new measures as of May 21, 2007:

1. S.Res 130: Designating July 28, 2007 as "National Day of the American Cowboy"


2. S.254: Awarding a Congressional gold metal to artist Constantino Brumidi

--oh, and under "measures reported" the LOC listed the establishment of a new committee, called the "Star Spangled Banner and War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission". Did I mention Constantino Brumidi has been dead since 1880?

Yeah old Ronnie would be smiling down upon the rotunda, whose innards are graced with Brumidi's frescoed depiction of George Washington-as-god in the "Apotheosis of Washington". Although, it's safe to say the Gipper wasn't the artsy fartsy type--he much preferred bronze scuptures of cowboys to Sistine Chapel-esque frescos or any piece of art with the slightest reference to antiquity. Specifically, the Gip was a fan of Frederic Remington, whose silver statue of "Bronco Buster" depicts a cowboy in a rodeo; it graced the Oval Office during his entire tenure. You can now purchase a limited-edition replica for the bargain basement price of $30,000 act now, it's at!

Here are some highlights of S.Res 130, or the designation of July 28 as "National Day of the American Cowboy":

Whereas that cowboy spirit continues to infuse the Nation with its solid character, sound family values, and good common sense;

Whereas the cowboy loves, lives off of, and depends on the land and its creatures, and is an excellent steward, protecting and enhancing the environment;

Whereas rodeo is the sixth most-watched sport in the United States;

Whereas to recognize the American cowboy is to acknowledge the ongoing commitment of the United States to an esteemed and enduring code of conduct...

Wow, only in America would genocide and environmental devastation figure quaintly into an "esteemed and enduring code of conduct".

Today I realized that Congresspersons are just like me in the workplace, we know we've got business to attend to, but somehow get distracted by our own ego-stroking vanity projects (like, ahem, perhaps blogging).

Thursday, May 10, 2007


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Gentleman art historian Brian Sewell, whose BBC travelogue "The Grand Tour" I enjoyed so very much last year with its tongue-in-cheek tales of sordid "sexsual" affairs (how he pronounces it in perfect Queen's English), has apparently revealed the UK street artist Banksy's true identity. I don't know how, and I don't know when this picture was posted, but it was on Sewell's official website, so it must be legit. If you take a look at the New Yorker's current peice about Bansky and his anonymous mystique, you'll see why this is kind of a big deal...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


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Is what my friend Jeff said in an email last week when DC's Eastern Market was, according to reports, "accidentally" set ablaze, leaving $20 mil worth of damages and 13 merchants displaced. The train station-looking brick building, which I lived just a few apartments down from during my internship stint, was in continuous operation from 1873 until just last week. The niche delis and food stands were always bustling, but it was the outdoor farmer's market which really drew in the masses on the weekends, and really made it a local treasure.

Now just this morning I am hearing that my very favorite hallmark of the Hollywood Hills, one of the very few spots in all of Los Angeles where you can study the stars, admire the incredible views, and revisit James Dean territory, has been set ablaze as well. 600 acres gone!!! 300 people evacuated too. And as for unpredictable catastrophe in general, I would be a complete asshole if I failed to mention the tornado tragedy that destroyed the small town of Greensburg, Kansas claiming 11 lives--a situation not likely to get any better due to the fact that the National Guard is preoccupied elsewhere.. anyhow. I was shaken, so the only thing to do, naturally, was to consult the Rapture Index. The "Prophetic Speedomer of End-Time Activity" would tell me if the End of Days was not, well, one day closer.

Ladies and gentleman brace yourself: index levels have now reached 157, which means "Heavy Prophetic Activity," according to the website (oh by the way that's Unfortunately, "fire" wasn't it's own item, but "wild weather" was, and it ranked a 5--the highest ranking you can get! It's right up there with "Crime Rate" and "Persia(Iran)". Quite luckily, however, "Kings of the East" and "Mark of the Beast" have not reached 5 just yet. Also, "Liberalism" is waning.

Because I just had to read all the creepy Twilight Zone-bizarro details of little American children emotionally attaching themselves to lifesize, cardboard replicas of their fathers (some cases mothers) on duty in just doesn't seem right.
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read about "flat daddies" in the nytimes here: